tv Nightly Business Report PBS November 23, 2012 7:00pm-7:30pm PST
between online and in-store is blurred like never before. and market monitor guest bernie schaeffer is making his list. we'll tell you what he's buying now. that and more tonight on "n.b.r." we begin with what has become the un-official post- thanksgiving past-time for many americans: shopping. the black friday doorbuster sales began earlier than ever. yesterday, in fact. but stores were busy with shoppers hunting for deals. holiday sales are expected to increase by about 4% this year, to more than $580 billion, according to the national retail federation. allison worrell kicks off out coverage of retail's big day. >> it's 5:30 in the morning at one of miami's most popular malls, and while it may look tame now, but this is the calm before the black friday shopping storm. >> reporter: from the victoria's secret's pink, to the apple store, people are enthusiastic about buying and it shows.
david vaton is on the hunt for an ipad mini and he says when it comes to getting a good deal, sleep is overrated. >> i stayed up the whole night, i did not go to sleep at all. today, so it's been a really long night. >> i got up at 2:00 in the morning. i probably got like five hours of sleep but i'm awkwardly awake right now. >> how much do you expect to save? >> well i just saved 50 bucks on this jacket. i don't know, maybe another hundred, save about $150. >> reporter: more than 145 million people are expected to go shopping this weekend, and while that's slightly less than last year's estimate, retailers are still feeling upbeat about the state of the consumer. stores often make more than a third of their annual sales during the christmas holidays and black friday is seen as a good barometer on the season. >> i think it creates the
momentum for the rest of the season and by the looks of it this year i think we're going to have a great season. >> reporter: and when it comes to worries about the slow economic recovery, this shopper says it's all about knowing how to stick to your budget. >> just spend what you want and black friday's a time when you get to save on stuff, so you actually get what you want at the savings that's available, and you call it a day. >> reporter: allison worrell, "n.b.r.," miami. >> tom: grey thursday gave way to black friday and then cyber monday next week. it's the retail industry's challenge to find the balance between promotion and price. jharonne martis is the director of consumer research at thomson- reuters. >> jharonne, are we seeing the discounting early like we have in seasons past? >> >> no. in fact, we are seeing the discounting even earlier, a lot of stores, including wal-mart, target and toys r us opened their stores on thanksgiving as opposed to waiting for black
friday. they did receive a little bit of grief for it from a lot of angry consumers, but on the other hand, there were lots of shoppers lining up in front of the stores to get those deals from wal-mart and toys r us. >> are the deals likely to get better if they are not satisfied with the crowd and the sales receipts we see over the next 72 hours? >> well, in fact, deals could continue to go on at all way until christmas over the next couple of weekends. we saw that wal-mart doubled their order of the apple tablets in order to guarantee that they would have enough to meet the demand and as a result analysts did become bullish on the company and did increase their earnings estimates for the fourth quarter for wal-mart so we are seeing retailers are becoming more competitive in order to at track attract the shop intoorz the stores. >> you mentioned apple and i want to ask you about that strategy in a moment but it also speaks to inventory control, doesn't it, in terms of how much
is on store shelves now compared to whether or not shoppers think they can go buy in december, you know, 21st, 22nd, 23rd and wait and hope the prices go down. >> it is all about psychology, for those shoppers who love the search for a deal, they are the ones who were last night shopping after the thanksgiving meal to try to find those best deals, so there are two sides of the coin, there is the consumer that wants the deal no matter what and likes the feel of searching for that discount, and then you have on the other hand, the shopper that just wants the product and is willing to pay full price for it. >> and apple has seen that kind of consumer and has ridden it to great success over holidays past but with the ipad mini let's ask you about' i that the strategy, it is higher than google and amazon and others, so what do
you anticipate for the ipad mini? >> analysts are a little worried and there has been a lot of controversy because of the pricing but despite that, the apple mini sold over double analyst expectations in the first three days, analysts were expecting about one, to 1.5 million of apple minis being sold, and on the contrary, they more than doubled that, and analyst predict that the ipad tablet is going to be the strongest selling item during this holiday season, in fact, apple sold 11 million tablets last holiday season, and analysts predict that this holiday season they will sell 24 million of which 8 million will come from the ipad mini itself. >> and apple is not immune to black friday specials i know all of white house have apple products got those e-mails early today as a matter of fact. >> jamar advertise along with us watching the >> i'm erika miller in brooklyn, new york. still ahead, we'll look at the importance of small business saturday. to this craft product maker and
other small businesses. >> tom: american consumers weren't the only ones snapping up bargains. investors were in a buying mood as well. the dow rose almost 173 points, the nasdaq added 40 and the s&p was up 18. for this holiday shortened trading week overall, the dow was up 3.4%. the nasdaq gained four percent this week. the s%p 500 added 3.6% over the week's four trading sessions. >> tom: even with all the holiday decorations crowding store aisles, shoppers still
will be looking for deals. off-price retailers and online shopping are expected to see bigger increases this year than other types of stores, but alix partners' michael appel says department stores aren't dead yet. >> those department stores that continue to provide value, service and great innovative product will do fine. those department store retailers that don't step up to the plate are going to have difficulty. >> tom: macy's is one of those department stores trying to stay relevent. it's in the middle of a $400- million bricks-and-mortar renovation of it's flagship store in new york city. it's also investing in technology to beef up it's online presence. "n.b.r.'s" ruben ramirez caught up with macy's c.e.o. terry lundgren in new york this morning and began by asking him how sales are going. both in store and on-line. >> they're both growing and that's the good news for us and while the online business has been spectacular for macy's for several years, we really look at
the consumer as an omnichannel consumer. so she comes in, she does her research on her phone. she decides what store she wants to shop. what items she wants to shop for. maybe going back to her desk and pulling the trigger there. so i think that's what happening today. so the line between online and physical stores is blurred. >> reporter: the past several years consumers have opened their wallets around the holidays but come january it seemed that that optimism faded. what are you expecting come january 2013? >> we've had 11 consecutive quarters of consistent growth of sales and earnings at macy's inc. we've found the formula. a lot of retailers depend on january to be a clearance month. whatever we didn't sell in december, we'll sell at a discount in january and in our case we're trying to buy the right amount for december and then have new merchandise coming
in january that they haven't seen in december. and i think that's hopefully going to start 2013 off on the right foot. >> reporter: are you making contingency plans in case lawmakers and washington aren't able to avert the fiscal cliff? >> we need to respond to this fiscal cliff. i can't tell them how they should do it. that's their expertise but they have to figure out the details and we need to resolve this subject and give america confidence that our political leaders can work together and i honestly believe that that will happen. >> reporter: when you reported third quarter results earlier this month you said you didn't have enough clarity on the impact of superstorm sandy. do you have more clarity now? >> i do have clarity on sandy and frankly it's devastating. particularly on individuals. we had 200 of our stores closed for the first three days of the november period and then many more were closed after that because we didn't have power. we definitely were impacted in a major way at our company. >> reporter: for the current
quarter you expect to fall short of wall street forecasts by at least five cents. are you still comfortable with those expectations? >> we try to guide honestly and if we're able to exceed that number that's always good news. but we try to guide where we believe we're going to be so we're confident with our forecasts. >> reporter: terry thank you so much. >> thanks ruben. >> tom: while many wal-mart employees spent black friday working the check-out line, others were manning the picket line. they used the high profile shopping day to protest low wages, work schedules and employee benefits. the protests were organized by a union-backed employee group called "our walmart". demonstrations were planned for one thousand stores in 100 cities. organizers say hundreds of workers left their shifts to participate and were joined by thousands of supporters outside the company. but walmart says only about 50 employees went on strike and fewer than 30 protests actually took place.
>> tom: the thanksgiving break is a busy one for high school seniors applying to college. as tuition continues to rise lawmakers and education experts are trying to help students and their parents, keep their costs and debt loads as low as possible. can they deliver? sylvia hall takes a look. >> reporter: during the campaign season, president obama visited college campuses, with a big goal. he wants to cut the growth of tuition prices in half over the next decade. to do it, he'll have to curb a steady upward trend that spans over several decades. just this year, in-state tuition for public colleges is up by almost 5%. for two-year colleges, in-state
tuition jumped almost 6%. the average sticker price for private colleges this year is up by about 4% from last year. the president has proposed controlling tuition growth by expanding a few federal programs like some student loans and work study programs, but reducing those funds for colleges and universities that raise tuition too much and too fast. >> right now the federal government, just this past year, gave out $187 billion in federal financial aid and for the most part that was without strings attached to it and the president is proposing to take a small percentage of those dollars and try to leverage them to go to schools that provide good value for students. >> reporter: but this proposal wouldn't affect most federal education dollars. and many college administrators say it doesn't address the main driver of tuition growth-- state governments. as cash-strapped states grapple with their budgets, many have slashed funds to public colleges and universities, shifting more of the cost to students. >> for many, many years, a lot of states stayed in the kind of
70-75%, the state subsidy vs. 20-25% or 30% tuition. that ratio has flipped in a matter of four to six years. >> reporter: the obama administration does plan to invest one billion dollars toward helping states reform their own higher education systems with a focus on value. >> for the most part, states are enrolling, they're paying institutions based on enrollments rather than outcomes. so how many students do you have in seats. how many butts in seats do you have. as opposed to, how are you doing with those students? and one of the things that this program that has been proposed would be to have states think more creatively about their dollars. which could also help them save money.
as it is, as it was in the depth of the equity days, very high short positions on individual stocks, this is like tinder, you need a spark, you need a catalyst, and usually that becomes known after the fact rather than before. >> right. >> but i think over six or seven month period like the options i am looking at, we have a chance, number one, for equity side, the equity side to rally sharply, hence the spy calls and the bond, and not the inverse trade, necessarily but the matching trade, the pairs trade here, you look at barclay's exchange traded fund for the bonds, behind the june 124 puts, this profits if the tl. the fund goes lower, tl t fund. >> and, again, what are the fundamentals on bonds? i mean, we have got record low interest rates, one could question
whether that is a safety trade or some other kind of trade, bonds which were shunned in the early 1980s at 15 percent yields all of a sudden we can't get enough of them now, now what is going to be the catalyst? i think this fund flow dynamic between exes and bonds and the unwinding of some of these pessimistic trades on equities could conspire particularly as we move into the new year to tip the scales and start moving things in the opposite direction of where they have been going. >> is complacency, though, too loti point to see that kind of optimism begin to build upon itself? >> i don't think we really have come complacency, we had an over played volatility play that imploded on itself and no better illustration that preelection people who bet on volatility popping, we got a three, four, five percent decline in the equity market, no money was made by high volatility. >> do you have positions in the options we mentioned tonight. >> put options on the t l t,
yes. >> bernie schaeffer, schaeffer investments research. thank you. >> now, on black >> tom: on black friday, big retail chains steal the spotlight, offering big gimmicks and mega deals. but tomorrow is small business saturday-- a shopping event started by american express to help small businesses nationwide. over a hundred million people are expected to participate this year. and as erika miller explains, the event highlights the importance of small businesses to the nation's economy. >> reporter: tomorrow is the most important sales day of the year for pam nelson, co-owner of butter lane bakery in manhattan. >> it's our biggest day of the year. valentine's day used to be our biggest day of the year. now it is, by far, small business saturday. >> reporter: last year, sales quadrupled the saturday after thanksgiving. this year, she's hoping for even bigger gains. todd and leisl gibson are also hoping for a surge in orders tomorrow. the husband and wife team own a craft products business called leisl and company.
small business saturday was also their biggest sales day last year. >> that one saturday, we did about 20 times our typical order volume for a regular saturday. >> reporter: special promotions and marketing clearly help drive sales. but the firms say customers also like supporting business owners they know. >> they like the fact that they feel like they know leisl. and they know todd. and they see pictures of our daughter. and they know when they buy patterns from us, they're helping support us. >> reporter: supporting small businesses is also good for the overall economy. over 99% of businesses in the u.s. are small businesses and they employ about half the nation's workforce. >> small businesses are critical to the economy. if you go back the last 20 years, they've created most of the new jobs in the u.s. economy. and we know that we are struggling with job creation. so shopping small is actually one way to build the confidence in growth of small businesses. which will only help produce
more jobs in the future. >> reporter: for leisl and company, small business saturday provides a sales lift during an otherwise slow period. >> we're in kind of a unique industry. for most retailers, it's all about november and december. for us, november and december are actually our slowest months of the year. people don't want to take on new large craft projects just before the holiday. >> reporter: for other firms, the arrival of small business saturday is especially important this year, coming a month after superstorm sandy. >> the reality of sandy is that most of us lost-- in the east village at least-- at least a week's worth of sales. and that hurts. and small business saturday is a way for us to at least partially recoup during those power outage days. >> reporter: so, although the day may be called small business saturday, it's having a big impact in communities and businesses around the nation. erika miller, "n.b.r.," new york. >> tom: finally, as the holidays rush in with a consumer
whirlwind, it's a good to pause and think about value. that's what lou's thinking about tonight. here's author and educator lou heckler. >> i was reading an article recently about a foreign car manufacturer. the c.e.o. said they wanted to move from value to valuable. he explained that for years they had produced very serviceable cars but had really emphasized price. in so doing, many decisions about components were made based on wanting to bring the car to market at as low a price as possible. as car buying habits are changing and people hold onto a car much longer than they used to, he is challenging his design teams to build a car that will last a long time, that will be valuable. so what is the difference between value and valuable? the short answer is that value means having worth, however you may assign that. valuable adds the notion of being highly thought of or prized. how can we do that? first, excellence. we need to be our best and do our best in every realm. second, energy. we need to be a model for commitment to our job and our people. and third, efficiency.
we need to be competent and bring about results. in my business, speaking and coaching, i have learned that i cant really have a bad day. my best marketing is really doing a valuable job every time for every client in every setting. my guess is that's probably true for you as well. i'm lou heckler. >> tom: that's "nightly business report" for friday, november 23. good night, everyone and have a safe weekend. we'll see you online at nbr.com and back here monday night. captioning sponsored by wpbt captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org